Mariners manager Eric Wedge was with catcher Jesus Montero behind the cage during batting practice Sunday, going over technical aspects...
CLEVELAND — Mariners manager Eric Wedge was with catcher Jesus Montero behind the cage during batting practice Sunday, going over technical aspects of a key play from a loss the day before.
Montero had taken his foot off home plate moments before a throw arrived from Brendan Ryan on a force play that would have resulted in an out instead of a ninth-inning score that ended the game.
Wedge said before Sunday’s game that he’d reviewed the play on video and that Montero should have just waited for the ball to get to him.
“He just came off the plate,” said Wedge, a former catcher. “He just released too early. You’ve got to keep your foot planted. You’re not going to turn two on that, so you’ve just got to keep your foot planted on that.”
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Part of it, he added, was Montero’s footwork and glove positioning on the play — something he spoke with the catcher about during the batting practice session.
“I’ve been there,” Wedge said. “It’s the game-on-the-line situation. You’ve got to be under control and kind of be in your first baseman’s mode. But not to where the ball could be anywhere. Understand that, one, you’re only going to get one out. So stay put and get one out.
“And two, just work your feet accordingly. He probably should have gone out with the other foot and caught the ball like this,” he added, demonstrating by twisting his hand in an upright position rather than to the side. “He just put himself in a tough position to where he kind of pulled himself off.”
Wedge said this isn’t something new for Montero or the team’s other catchers.
“That’s what you see us do in spring training,” Wedge said. “The home-to-first, or the force out or the tag play at home. Those are things you work on.”
Montero did catch a second straight game Sunday, making a nice throw to first on a swinging bunt by the speedy Drew Stubbs. He also drew a walk and lined a ninth-inning single off the left-field wall.
Harang feels fine
Mariners pitcher Aaron Harang said his lower back felt fine after a pregame bullpen session.
That means Harang remains on-track to start Tuesday’s game in Anaheim after missing his last scheduled start because of back stiffness.
In taking down Felix Hernandez on Sunday, the Indians have beaten seven former Cy Young Award winners this season. The other six are: Roy Halladay, Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey; Justin Verlander, David Price and Cliff Lee.
• The series loss was the first by the Mariners since April 22-24 at Houston. The three straight losses by Seattle matches a season high.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @gbakermariners.